Parlor Room Theater Presents ‘A Christmas Carol, 1933’: A Live Radio Play This Friday Through Sunday 12/19-21 by Frank DiSalvo

New adaptation by local playwright envisions the classic Dickens novel as a live radio play


Parlor Room Theater presents A Christmas Carol, 1933 by Frank Robinson, Jr., a new adaptation framing the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge as a live radio broadcast on Christmas Eve, 1933.

A blizzard has struck the small town of Golden Valley, where a radio station is scheduled to perform A Christmas Carol live. Many actors, including a Broadway star set to play Scrooge, call the station manager to say they can’t make it to the performance that night. Knowing the show must go on, the manager quickly recasts the show with the handful of people who could get there, including the unassuming station handyman, as well as a mysterious newcomer who is tapped to play Scrooge.

Playwright Frank Robinson, Jr. had this to say about the beginnings of this play: “When approached by Parlor Room Theater with an offer to produce the play, one requirement dictated by circumstance was the necessity to pare down the staging and size of the cast. Rather than do a straight staged reading of the play, I contemplated how to enfold it within new material, to bookend it if you will, so that the full drama of Dickens work would become a part of something new, and hopefully, complementary.

A staged reading is much like a radio play and that thought led me to remember that Lionel Barrymore had performed a radio version of A Christmas Carol in 1934. This was Barrymore’s radio debut (he played Scrooge) and reportedly the first American radio version of the classic tale. I wondered, ‘Suppose Barrymore had not shown up?’ and that thought was the genesis of A Christmas Carol, 1933.”

This unlikely troupe of actors perform the radio play, finding themselves swept up in the story of Scrooge’s redemption. Once the play is finished, each of them finds their hearts changed by the story, filled with “love and a friend’s concern for his fellow man.”

Here is a short clip from the beginning of the play, shot during tech rehearsal:

A Christmas Carol 1933 plays this weekend December 19th and 20th at 7:30 pm, December 21st at 2 pm at Bishop McNamara Fine Arts Theater- 6800 Marlboro Pike, in Forestville, MD 20747.


Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.

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Please direct any inquiries to Frank Disalvo at [email protected]


A Christmas Carol, 1933

A Live Radio Play
by Frank Robinson, Jr.

Friday, December 19 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 20 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 21 at 2:00 pm

At the BMHS Fine Arts Theater
6800 Marlboro Pike
Forestville, MD 20747

Directed by Patrick Gorirossi

Featuring: Kathryn Barrett-Gaines, Dillon DiSalvo, Thomas DiSalvo, Erin Hanratty, Grayson Owen, Lonnie Simmons, and Christopher Williams.


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